Tuesday

30th Aug 2016

Russia gives EU six months extra on air passenger law

  • Russia assured the EU that its security services will not do anything untoward with the data (Photo: wikipedia)

Europeans can still fly to Russia, or over it, from Monday (1 July) without airlines giving their private data to Russian security services.

Under Russia's new Passenger Name Record (PNR) law, EU airlines as of next week have to hand over sensitive information, such as passengers' credit card details, or face landing and overflight bans.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

But if the airlines comply, they would fall foul of EU data protection rules because the Union has no legal framework for PNR exchange with Moscow.

The legal stalemate risked seeing tens of thousands of flights grounded.

But a European Commission source told EUobserver on Thursday: "The Russian side has ensured that the order will not apply to traffic between the EU and Russia until beginning 2014."

The postponement comes after a meeting between EU officials and Russian counterparts in Moscow on 21 June.

Officials from the Russian transport ministry also met with the Association of European Airlines (AEA), a Brussels-based trade body, in the EU capital earlier this week.

Viktoria Vajnai, an AEA spokeswoman, told this website: "As far as we're informed, there won't be any legal consequences if one of our companies does not transfer the required data to the Russians. This is a transitional period until the end of the year."

She added: "The European Commission understands the seriousness of the problem and we see that the Russian federation is willing to start negotiations to find a solution."

The Russian mission to the EU could not immediately comment.

But it said on its website on Wednesday the 21 June talks were "constructive and productive" and "the parties agreed to continue their dialogue."

It noted that it had "assured" the EU delegation that people's data will be protected by "relevant Russian legislation."

According to the commission, the situation arose because Russia failed to send official notification on the PNR law in time.

But Russia notes that the full text of the legislation has been public for almost a year.

The PNR spat comes amid parallel talks on an EU-Russia visa facilitation deal, with Russia keen for the EU to let its officials, or "service passport" holders, enter the Union visa free.

The commission source said Brussels did not give Moscow anything in return for the PNR suspension, however.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EuridThe 2016 .eu Web Awards is a Chance to Make Dreams Come True so Vote Today !
  2. Nordic CouncilNordic-Baltic Co-operation Vital in Turbulent Times
  3. GoogleBrussels: Home of Beer, Fries, Chocolate and Google’s Policy Team - follow @GoogleBrussels
  4. HuaweiSeeds for the Future Programme to Bring Students to China for ICT Training
  5. EFASpain is Not a Democratic State. EFA Expresses Solidarity to A. Otegi and EH Bildu
  6. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  7. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  8. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  9. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Applies Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  10. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  11. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  12. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER